In an ideal world, we’d all be the type of people that spring out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. But the reality is, most people start the day by hitting the snooze button several times, throwing on some clothes at the last possible moment and relying on coffee to power them through those groggy early hours. So how can you become a morning person and get more out of your day?
Some of the world’s most successful people are ridiculously early risers. Apple CEO Tim Cook gets out of bed at 3.45am to get ahead on his emails. Vogue global chief content officer Anna Wintour’s alarm goes off at 5.45am, while Richard Branson wakes with the sunrise. Clearly, there’s something magical about making the most of the morning hours.
But if you struggle to crack open an eyelid when the sun comes up, let alone a smile, how can you transform yourself into one of these disciplined beings?
How to become a morning person
1. Set yourself a bedtime
Getting up earlier means committing to going to bed on time. It’s no wonder you struggle to wake up in the morning if you’re not getting a healthy amount of rest each night.
Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep per night, so work out a plan that means you can get an optimal amount of time under the duvet that works for you. Once your bedtime arrives, there’s just one rule: make sure you stick to it.
If you struggle to keep track, set an alarm. iPhones come with a bedtime feature that will gently prompt you when it’s time to hit the hay.
If you’re still struggling, get yourself a sunrise/sunset alarm clock which will slowly dim in the evening to help you fall asleep at a set time every night and wake up on time (available on Amazon).
2. Design a fitness plan
One of the best things about waking up early in the morning is that you can get your workout done and dusted, so you don’t have to worry about it later on in the day. All that exercise is a great way to start the day on a natural high too, releasing feel-good endorphins that can eliminate that grumpy early-morning feeling.
If the thought of hitting the treadmill at the crack of dawn feels like a chore you’d rather sleep through, switch up your routine to make fitness something you’re excited to get out of bed for. Book yourself into a calendar of new classes – you could try a session of sunrise yoga or an early-morning barre class. It could even be as simple as changing your running route so that you see new things on your way.
3. Make your room a screen-free environment
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of idly scrolling through Instagram last thing at night and first thing in the morning? While you might think your phone habit is helping you wind-down after a busy day, it’s actually really unhealthy to bombard your eyes with screens in the bedroom.
Light plays an important role in the regulation of our circadian rhythms, and smartphones emit blue light which suppresses melatonin (the hormone that induces drowsiness). Not only is looking at your phone before bed actually keeping you awake, but having it charging next to you at night means you’ll be all the more tempted to procrastinate in bed when you wake up in the morning.
If you really can’t do without your phone, try using it on blue-light filter mode and download a dimming app to make it easier on your eyes.
4. Have a 15-minute prep session before bed
You’re not sure where you left your keys, you can’t remember if you have any clean underwear, and you’re pretty sure you can’t go another day without washing your hair… Sometimes the thought of going to work isn’t the reason you don’t want to get out of bed; it’s the feeling of not wanting to have to deal with the chaos you’ve left yourself to deal with.
Feeling more motivated to get up in the morning can be as simple as dedicating 15 minutes before bed to lay out your clothes for the next day, pack your bag, and organise your things. Even something as small as filling the kettle the night before or leaving out a clean mug for the morning can save you time and leave you feeling more organised.
5. Go for a protein-laden breakfast
To be the best version of yourself first thing in the morning, it’s a good idea to eat a healthy breakfast. Protein and wholegrain-packed breakfasts, such as baked eggs, salmon bagels and Greek yogurt will give you a quick hit of energy and keep you going throughout the day.
Setting aside 20 minutes to peacefully enjoy breakfast while listening to your favourite podcast or reading a chapter of a book will also put your brain in a happier, more relaxed state before you face the day.
6. Put the heating on a timer
Now winter’s arrived, one of the best excuses for staying in bed is that it’s simply too cold to get out from under the covers. Make the effort of rolling to the bathroom less painful by setting your central heating on a timer, so the rest of your home is just as warm and inviting as your bed when you wake.
7. Don’t nap
Whilst napping throughout the day can seem like a great pick-me-up, it could do more harm in the long run. It’s best to sleep at night when you’re less likely to be disturbed by light and noise for a more restful sleep.
Also, try to avoid falling asleep in front of the TV in the evenings. As tempting as it is to let Netflix lull you to sleep, you’ll find it harder to fall asleep when you finally make it off the sofa and into bed.
8. Stop hitting snooze
Snoozing your alarm is a really bad habit to get into. Once you start it’s easy to allow yourself to snooze your alarm every morning. Try an alarm clock without a snooze button, but don’t remember to set up a back-up alarm just in case! That second alarm should signify something else – for example, set it for 10 minutes after your first alarm which is when you should be dressed by. This will add a sense of accountability and help you get up quicker.
And on that note…
9. Change your alarm
Changing your alarm from time to time will help you wake up. Once you’ve had the same alarm for a little while, it becomes easier to ignore. Most phones and alarm clocks come with a wide range of sounds – try choosing one at random, the unfamiliar noise will wake you up more effectively.
10. Use an alarm clock that moves
It might seem a bit strange, but this one really works! Get yourself an alarm clock that moves so you have to get up to turn it off (available on Amazon). Chasing around a clock on wheels is a novel way to start your morning, but after your mini workout from chasing it around you’ll be ready to start your morning without any grogginess.
Alternatively, place your alarm clock on the other side of the room. Just make sure it’s loud enough to wake you up.
Now you have no excuses…
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